I mentioned getting back into regularly attending yoga classes again, beginning last fall. I’m now in the middle of my second consecutive session of classes, and had moved myself up to the Level II, due more to convenience of the timing of the class than my ability. And, this class has been a stretch (pun intended). The teacher is amazing – and every class, he emphasizes the need for daily practice (which I shamefacedly acknowledge that I do not do). I know I should. I think about it all the time, and have become a bit obsessive about it. And, it wouldn’t take much effort to simply act on it. Just 10 or 15 minutes a day. How hard would that be? And I know how much benefit I would gain from a daily practice.
I even missed last week, because I was on service in the hospital, and had to make rounds. I did manage to practice one afternoon, and J joined me, which was so sweet. He does an awesome Tree Pose, with his arms outstretched, looking very like a tree. I would love to practice with him, and his brother, too, if he’d join us. That would be motivating.
So, during this session, I have become reacquainted with the inverted poses, which I haven’t done in at least 10 years. Shoulder stand – Sarvangasana – feels very comfortable and solid.
And then Head Stand – Shirshasana – at first, I was nervous, but it’s now feeling more comfortable, even with my only practicing it in class:
And, today, Hand Stand – Adho Mukha Vrkshasana – which I have felt too weak in the arms to achieve. There is a variation which is halfway there, with the body bend at 90-degrees, with the hands on the floor, and the feet on the wall, so that you’re basically supporting half the body with the arms. And, we started with that:
And, then our instructor challenged us to kick up into the full handstand. I tried, a couple of times, and I saw him approach me, and knew that he was going to spot me, and suddenly, there I was, in a full handstand, and it was easier than doing the half hand stand, because all the weight of the body is in a line, and the alignment makes the pose easier, when you think it’ll be harder.
I don’t look like B.K.S. Iyengar (pictured above) in the pose yet. I am against the wall, with my heels supported to help me balance. I have never managed to balance hand stand in the middle of the room. I have managed head stand in the middle of the room, but I’m not quite there yet. But, I’m psyched that I tried it, and that I allowed the instructor to help me get there into hand stand today.
And I feel motivated to try and practice more regularly. We’ll see.